This one-pot fish dish is as inherently French as cognac, croissants and champagne. It is thought to have originated from Marseillais fishermen who used the bony fish they were unable to sell, to cook their evening meal.
Today, ingredients still include gurnard, scorpionfish, monkfish, mullet or bream, cooked with shellfish, vegetable stock and Provençal herbs. The stew is first brought to a boil (bolhir, in Provençal Occitan) and then simmered (abaissar), giving us the name bouillabaisse. Purists serve the stew only with rouille and croutons – each fish is added separately afterwards.
Restaurant Miramar (00 33 4 91 91 41 09; www.bouillabaisse.com) converts one ton of fish into bouillabaisse each week, which costs an equally impressive €58 a head.